Monday, January 4, 2010

dolphin for prime minister!!

i read this news item the other day about a study which places dolphin intelligence second to human beings. this means that chimps are now ranked as the third intelligent "creatures" after humans and dolphins.

experts are now calling for dolphins to be given rights and treated as "non human persons"--because we treat our fellow humans so well.

the study, conducted by zoologist lori marino, used MRI scans to map the brains of dolphins and compare them to primates. she says that dolphins brains are actually larger than human brains and are only second to humans in mass once corrected for body size:

"the neuroanatomy suggests psychological continuity between humans and dolphins and has profound implications for the ethics of human-dolphin interactions."

dolphins(especially the bottle nose) have distinct personalities, strong sense of self, and can think about the future. they learn new types of behaviour from other dolphins(like covering their snouts with a piece of sea sponges to protect themselves when searching for spiny fish on the ocean floor.

anyone who's seen planet earth knows that they live and hunt in groups and use extremely complicated tacticts to round up and catch fish.

they surf!!

just because something or someone is intelligent doesn't guarantee them rights or ethical treatment--when chimps were second on the intelligence list it certainly didn't mean that they were treated better than any other animal.

so it's nice to have proof that dolphins are really smart but i think most people can guess that they're really smart. the key to protecting animal species from cruel treatment shouldn't be to prove that they're intelligent because intelligence shouldn't be a prerequisite for rights.

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